Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Time

Friday- 11 miles
Sat- off
Sunday- 12 miles- 1:36
Monday- off
Tuesday- 15 Miles on treadmill

It is getting to be holiday time once again! I have been a bit busier of late with my volunteering at the prosthetics shop, work in the PT rehab clinic, and on line classes from Northwestern all seeming to have picked up. Since I am trying to stay fresh following Hellgate I have been taking more days off than normal. However, doing a day on day off schedule has worked very well for me in the past. In 2001 I averaged 4 run days per week and had my absolute best year (I was simultaneously in sub 16:30- 5k and 16:30 100 mile shape.) Something I have not seen since. In Egypt I was doing a repeating 3 day cycle of beat down run, easy day, moderate day, repeat that also worked pretty well.

Nothing wrong with taking more recovery. .... But, my main aim over the next couple months is to get in as many 80 minute plus runs as possible. And unfortunately I seem to need more recovery in there than I used to.

On the off days I have begun doing a bit of sit ups, pull ups, type work and hope to begin more specific pilates and yoga stuff. (we have tons of videos to follow I just need to get off my duff)

anyway, here's to the holiday season and all the cookies, cakes, pies, and calories it may bring to you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Virginia Ultra Plans

I've been thinking a lot about my up coming race plans and wishes for next year and beyond. What I want to do is complete all of the ultras in the state of Virginia, and most all in the mid-atlantic. Since the calendar is continually growing it is a good tough goal. The following is the schedule as far as I can see and includes what I have done so far: By month; Race, previous placing

VHTRC-SLUG Red Eye FA 50k- (3rd, 4th )
Swinging Bridge 50k (9th)

T.W.O.T- (finished one loop- want 4 someday)
Holiday Lake 50K++ (51st)
Reverse Ring 71 miler (2nd)

Catawba Run Around - (6th, 10th)
Fairfax County 50K (?)
Elizabeth Furnace FA 50K (3rd)
Bel Monte 50mile (4th)
Chocolate Bunny 50k (?)

Bull Run Run 50 (4th, 8th, 37th, 204th)
Promise Land 50k (16th)
24hr Adventure Trail Run (?)

MMT 100 (2nd, 5th, 19th)

Old Dominion 100 (?)

Catherine's Furnace 50K (10th, 10th, 45th)

*Anything here?????

Odyssey 40- (2nd)
GEER 100k (13th)
MMT Ring 71- (4th)

Iron Mountain 50 Mile- (?)
Potomac Heritage 50K (15th)
Andiamo 45 -(5th)
Grindstone 100 Mile- (2009)
New River Trail 50K (?)

MMTR 50- (7th, 39th,80th)

Hellgate 100k- (35th)
Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50K- (1st, 14th)
Boyers Furnace 40 (1st)

So basically I have a few more (of 28 total) Virginia ultras to complete. With hopes of checking a few more off in 2009.

Some Other East Coast Classics I want to do/ Have done:

North Carolina:
Uwharrie 40 (21st)
Mt Mitchell 40 (22nd)
Umstead 50 (6th)

JFK 50 mile (5th, 65th, 185th)
Catoctin 50K (6th, 29th)
Greenway Trail 50K (12th)
HAT 50K -(?)

West Virginia:
Capon Valley 50K (?)
Rattlesnake 50K (?)
Big Schloss 50K (swept in 04, run in 09?)
Highland Sky 40 (?)
Cheat mt Moonlight 50 mile (2009?)

Wow, I've got to get busy! But, I very much look forward to going to and experiencing new races. Here's to a good ultra season

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hellgate 66 miler

Wow 79 degrees today: Dec 10th (what the Hell!)

Well Friday night at 12:01 am I began my quest to complete David Horton's longest/hardest/and youngest ultra race held in the southwestern Virginia mountains. This race: hellgate 100K is (like the other Horton races) long and rolls in at 66 miles (measured by 4 different GPS's units). the fact that it is located where it is and is 66 miles makes it hard enough but add in the being awake all day factor, starting in the dark, and the likelihood of cold, snow, ice and you get an epic event....just like the good Dr. Horton likes.

I did not mind all of the above...what I didn't like was the incredible amount of leaves down IN the trail covering all the loose and jagged rocks that make the blue ridge mountains the old decaying giants they are. The late fall and recent leaf drop with out much wind or rain recently created pockets of leaves 2 foot deep and rendered many sections of trail 1-3 miles in length completely unrunnable at any kind of normal stride. I like running and really was thrown off and slowed by this.

The 2nd thing that makes this race a tough one for me is my current state of having no hip flexor or hip extensor power. There are Many long climbs on the course where you ascend straight on forest service roads for one thousand to 2000 ft and without any hill climbing in Egypt and hardly any since I came back my legs just are not ready for the steady walking grind. Women, children, dogs and those in their 60's simply walked away from me on all these climbs. It got to be comical as I would have to take shuffling running steps to catch back up to those I was moving with until they walked away again. And whenever I stopped for a bathroom pit stop, or to get something out of my shoe I could never catch back up.

Luckily there were some downhills on the course and here I was able to run like I wanted and my quads (all hardend up from the 21, 26, 40, 62, 25, 26, and 50 mile long runs I have done the last 14 weeks) held up like champs and allowed me to go as fast as I wanted. Even today 48hrs post finish I easily handled some running in the back yard with Oskar.

The best thing about Hellgate was all the time I got to spend with VHTRC mates and training partners beginning with a few miles on the first climb with legends of ultrarunning Scott Mills and Derrick Carr, then Bethany Patterson and Ryan Henry miles 10-20. At mile 27 I began to run with Sophie Speidel and finished it out the last 3 miles with Kerry Owens. But, from Mile 2 on to mile 60 I ran with slightly ahead of or just behind my training partner of 2000-2001 Jeff Wilbur. Without all of y'alls company I would not have had the good time I did. THANKS!

My race started out HOT! as the temp was much warmer than I anticipated and I was insanely overdressed. This necessitated a stop about 1.5 miles into the first climb to strip off two Patagonia capilene T- shirts, my hat, gloves, and re-don but unzip my sporthill windshielding long sleeve. The patagonia running pants I had on were also not necessary but ended up staying on for all 66 miles.

After this first break I settled in at a fun pace where I could chat it up with Jeff Wilbur and stayed just off the front group and slightly ahead of the womens top 2-6 placers. This pace had me slipping back slightly during the race when I had some bonk points but surging again strongly after 42 miles.

Due to ice conditions the BR parkway was closed causing the mile 22 aid staion and drop back place to be moved and drop bags going only to mile 42. This pretty much sucked as I had planned to adjust my clothing, shoes (as I was getting a blister) and pick up needed cliff shot blocks as they have been the main thing that has been working well for me in ultras of late. but, what are you gonna do???? I ran on... ate the shot blocks I had at a sparing pace and bonked..... until mile 27 where I put down an amazingly tasting scrambled egg wrapped in a tortilla. After another long climb that digested well and I had some great running energy....until the next bonk. Such is the ultra game.

At mile 42 I picked up my drop back took several minutes to make several adjustments and rallied to run the next section very well enjoying perhaps the most BEAUTIFUL SECTION of trail running in all of the 55 ultras I have now completed! Incredible section with great trail and sweeping vistas as far as you could see. I will never forget those 7 miles.

So will I go back???? Everyone always asks this after the tough ones... everyone answers no immediately then relents later. but, honestly no I doubt it. There are other races I want to do. Consider this box checked.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Great Blogs Reads

9 miles- 1:13 roads easy

Lots of great reads in the blog world of late as We$tern $tate$ 100 had its lottery (with many top ultrastuds being left out) and discussion on the need to modify the lottery seen on Andy Jones Wilkins, Wynn Davis, Anton Krupicka, and Bryon Powell's blogs.

Massanutten opens entry today, I bet it is full within 48hours.

Perhaps the best read is an interview with the legend Barney Klecker on Chad Austin's site. Wow this guys is amazing.

As for me I am starting to get excited about the Hellgate 100k.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Interval rest revisited

9 miles- 1:24 exploring new trails

Okay so I read some from Ohio coach Tinman last night. He is citing some research and promoting an idea that makes some good sense to me. Rest periods post intervals at a high level pace such as VO2max pace or 3k-5k race pace. He is suggesting these should have a long recovery and not the typical American system thinking of shorter rest equals a faster athlete. This might be true for repeats at supra-vo2max effort that are short in distance. (200m reps) and true for long reps at a lactate threshold pace. (cruise interval miles at 1/2 marathon pace with 30-60sec rest). But for the standard 3xmile workout at 3k-5k race pace. Its likily better to take 75-100% of the time of the interval for a rest period.

This is something I have rarely ever done. 3xmile in 5:00-5:40 on 2 min rest is something I have probably done 80 times. Yet, the times when I ran repeats like that or 2x 2mile or 2mile rest one mile...with big recoveries I raced my best times ever. I think going forward I will try adding some extra rest between v02max intervals.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Finally got 25,000

Friday- 5miles- easy TM

Well with November's 227miles I have now finally topped the 25,000 mile mark in the millennium mile challenge. As far as lifetime miles I am at 40,000 now and will get in my 5th year over 2500 miles in 2007.

For me the last 18 months have been consistent and I am finally starting to get fit again. Looking back 2002-2006 was pretty poor with a 36 month stretch in there with almost no months over the 200 mile mark. ugh!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Run like a Dog or a 6 Year Old!

FAST and for the pure joy of it!

After taking some down days and babying my knee I was ridiculously fired up and feeling great today. So I went off to the track to stay on the flat and just did what felt good. I had no plan and just let it rip a bit. I ended up striving for 5k worth of intervals and managed that without any trouble and felt great the entire workout without even a hint of pain in my knee! yippie! More importantly it was the most fun I have had on a run in months. I wore the shoes I used for speed workouts while in Egypt and put on the Ipod shuffle for some inspiration. Both helped set the mood.

1 mile warm up
200-42, 400-83, 600-2:07, 800-2:48
400-86, 600-2:03, 800-2:45
400-77, 4x200-38,38,40,38
1 mile cool down

all on 200m recovery jog/walk and at an effort that was hard but totally in control. It felt surprisingly smooth. Perhaps some fitness is coming after all.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fleeting Invincibility

Saturday- 19 miles 4 hours- trails in Shenandoah
Sunday -11 miles w/ Anne
Monday- off
Tuesday- 5 miles
Wednesday- walked 6 miles on TM

For the first time since last October I have had some pain in my left knee tibia tubercle/patella tendon. This is a problem area for me and has taken me out for two 6 month periods previously so the slightest twinges cause me to have serious fear. The steady pounding on the towpath in the cold last week was probably a generator as my knees HATE the cold. But, additionally I have not been super vigilant about stretching my quad like I should.

In any event I took some days off, and am taking it easy. Hoping it fades as quickly as it did last fall (3 days)

Since it has really been 13 straight strong pain free months I honestly am feeling blessed. As a runner something is always looming it seems. The incredible strength and fitness running gives you....Call it a fleeting invincibility....as it won't last too long.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday & Monday off
Tuesday- walked 3 miles
Wednesday- 4 miles w/ 6x striders
Thursday- 6 miles easy roads

I wanted to wish all a happy thanksgiving. It feels good to be in the USA again for this one as my memories of being in the Sinai desert last year are very strong today. Richmond is beautiful right now with the leaves flying off the trees in this 75 degree breeze. Very nice to crunch them and try to catch some on the run this morning. I could smell baking turkeys all through my neighborhood even at 8am.

Enjoy all, and spend some time thinking about what you are truly thankful for today. An email from a former patient brought it home to me yesterday. My health! I wish you continued patience and success Matthew.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

JFK- 7:50

Saturday- JFK 50miles- 7:50

Well the day started off nice and crisp with frost all over and never seemed to warm up much. I felt tight and anxious as I jogged to the starting line in boonsboro, MD yesterday. I chatted with some folks in my VHTRC club and then ran on up to the line with Ultra studs and Montrail teammates Ian Torrence and Mark Godale. My thoughts went back to 2001 when I last raced this event and was on a totally different level. I hoped I would run close to what I did that day and knew I was in 6:45-7:10 shape based on my recent workouts and races.

A pretty well accepted conversion is to take your marathon time, double it, then add an hour to get a 50 mile time. Having run 3:01 three weeks ago, having had experience on this course, and knowing that a 7:00 time will place top 20 in this 1200 runner field I confidently started the race off in the front pack.

After the first two road miles passed in 15:08 I found myself in the top 20 with all the expected contenders ahead or next to me including fellow blogger Greg Crowther, MMTR 1st & 2nd placers (Eric Grossman), USA 50 mile road champ (Mark Lundblad), course record holder and legend Eric Clifton who at age 49 can still really move, and Montrail teammate Sean Meissner. And just besides me talking about trying to see if he could run top three and earn an entry into next June's Western States 100 via the Montrail Ultracup was none-other-than Mike Wardian. This guy is full of surprises and fresh of a 2:24:16 win in the OBX marathon (Nov 11th) here he was a "speedy road specialist" taking his time getting in to the racing apparently unconcerned with what Godale and the others were doing off the front. I thought hhmmmm he is probably going to win this thing. My previous thought to seeing this behavior was that he'd rip off the front.... lead for 30 miles and fade/drop out. Nope! Mike went on to run 5:50 which is the 2nd fastest time in the races 40+ year history! Wow!
Feeling great 9 miles in

After getting to the trail head I relaxed, kept my breathing in check and began to real off the rolling rocky miles of the AT with Leo Lutz with occasional passes back and forth with Clifton, Sean, and the western states course record holder Mike Morton who has just been getting back into the running this last year.

Although I had a plan of eating cliff shots and blocks every 30 minutes this didn't happen and hindsight says this played a role in the total muscular give out I started going through at mile 23.
At Weaverton Sean, Leo and I

I came off the AT with Eric, Sean and Leo and managed to set foot on the towpath at the 2:12 mark feeling ready to roll. This was 12 minutes of my split from the 2001 race, but certainly good enough to get me the sub 7:00 I wanted. I began eating up the miles with Eric running splits in the 7:30-7:45 range. This was exactly what I had planned to do, but, around the 3 hour mark my left hip-flexor pretty much went out and this pace was no longer possible. With a slow degrade by mile 26 I had been passed by a number of individuals including women's race winner Anne Lundblad. I was then forced into a run 5 minutes walk one minute pattern. I tried to stretch it out as much as I could and mess with my stride so I was not flexing as much, but it still sucked.

At 38 Miles, nutrition was very important. Note my Pup Oskar

I maintained this pattern doing 10-12 minute miles from mile 27-40. UGH!!! Not what I wanted and mentally I had to battle a lot with the desire to just give in an drop out where my crew awaited me at mile 38. I started focusing only on getting to the next aid station and that helped. By mile 38 ( 5:56 into the race) I was starting to feel better (as I had been really forcing the calories) and decided to press on. Soon enough I could see the damn and knew the towpath would end soon. Striding over the "9 miles to go" sign I was now able to run steady for more than 5 minutes at a stretch and refocused on breaking the 8 hour barrier. If I did 10 minute miles I would finsih in 8:00:28. I thought I could do it. Leaving the towpath at 6:35 into the race I realized my 26.3 towpath marathon split was a 4:23. Wow that is a full 68 minutes slower than the last time I raced here! WOW.

I put my head down and began to cover most of the remaining miles at under 9:00 pace with stops for aid and walking some of the bigger hills adding in. The miles rolled by and with my Wife and Dad cheering me on at the 4 miles to go point I knew I had it. Only on the road section did I reverse the trend of being passed and actually begin to reel in some other runners. As I approached the finish I was happy to have gotten myself back in the game, but a bit disappointed my body let me down. With all the training you just want it all to be super and feel great the whole time, but that happens very infrequently.
Happy at the Finish!!!

Others say I have too high of expectations for myself and that at 33 my glory days may be passed but I am certain this is not so. I just need to realize I can't recover like I used to and should have known that the MCM effort I put out 3 weeks ago was going to affect me more. I trained very hard in the time between that race and this one and should not have. My hip flexor and hamstring were bothering me almost every day.

It has been an odd pattern since 1999-2001 when I was racing well. I still go to as many races but I put out a higher effort level now than I did then in the majority of the races when you look at percentage of maximum capacity. In those peek years I did not race all out in 80% of the races I ran in. I was just in good enough shape that I could take it relatively easy and still place well. I often would just relax and run with the lead women rather than battling for the win. Since that time with fitness declines due to work/life/injuries/deployments/ect. I have wanted to be racing up front so badly that when I do enter a race I tend to put out a much higher effort level in each and every one. This obviously makes it harder to come back and race hard again. If I had run MCM at a reduced effort I am sure JFK would have gone better. I need to pick and choose better and realize I can't give a full bore race effort in such a shortened time span.

So I will continue to run ultra races and marathons frequently as I enjoy them, but will cut down on the ones I really go after it in. Next up for enjoyment- Hell gate 100k.

The story of the day though, was definately my puppy Oskar and his entertaining of all the crews

Friday, November 16, 2007

Time to Toughen Up

Thursday- off
Friday- walked easy

Time to toughen up indeed....Read this article. I hope to have as much determination and inner drive tomorrow at JFK 50 mile. Just not as bad of luck! Ugh... a tibial stress Fx that goes to far!

I can tell I am fit and ready to race as I am all anxious/nervous/fidgety and am wanting to do WELL. Many times in ultras I go to the line for the atmosphere, the camaraderie, the coolness of a course/geographical area, or to complete the distance. I am as competitive as the next person, but sometimes I don't mind and just roll along in an event as if it was just a training adventure despite having a number pinned on. But, when I feel like this, I know I will be starting off near the front of the pack and attempting to push my limits. Let's hope it goes well. This is my kind of course and the weather should be good.

Check out the incredible field- handicapped here. My dark horse for the win is an old Montrail teammate and a guy I ran JUCO XC against in 1994: Scott Wolfe

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fall is Here

Sunday- 10.5 miles 1:21
Monday- off (1st day off in 13 days)
Tuesday- 6 miles- 52min easy roads
Wednesday- 5 miles -1 up, 3miles-19:55, 1 dn

A beautiful fall day today with temps up to 73, clear skies, and a gentle breeze blowing many leaves down. I spent 2 1/2 hours raking some of them (and a million lbs of pine needles) up from my yard today. Lots of core work and hamstring action bending over to pick stuff up. Not the smartest thing but I am 3 days out from the race so considered it training and stretching.

I managed to get a small tempo run in after the raking with a nice cut down 6:45-6:37-6:33 while circling the local high school track. Some coach had his team out doing jumping drills and Indian sprints. fun to watch. I suspect it was the basketball team doing some conditioning work. Looked like they needed more of it!

A couple easy days and race time as part of team Montrail with Bryon Powell and Sean Meissner. should be fun!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wow Impressive Racing!

My wife is a stud!

We raced the NTELOS 8k in downtown Richmond this morning in a stellar 39:32. (7:57 pace). Anne has not raced very much in her life and was able to drop 4 minutes off her last race at this distance (2005). Pretty quick performance considering she runs 3 days/week for a total of 15miles/week ave.

Splits were 8:22, 8:02, 7:59, 7:52, 7:15. The last 0.97 miles was net downhill, but we spanked it. This was a fast enough pace to let me feel my right hamstring that has been a little angry at me the last few days due to the increased steady miles.

The fact that we live and train in a real hilly area is helping both our fitness's.

Thursday- 6 miles easy w/ walk break-59min
Friday- 11 miles hills- 1:26
Saturday 5 miles- 39:32 w/ Anne

Time to rest a bit for next weeks JFK 50 miles.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tempo Time...Must Do More Of These

Wednesday-8 miles- 10K tempo -40:51

A great run tonight as the sun set in cool temps. Why I don't run more tempo runs I don't know. The are so beneficial and are not hard, and don't even make you dead sore the next day.

anyway, I went off my 3:01:30 marathon using Jack Daniel's tables and tried to run steady at 6:32 per mile pace (or the pace I could run 10-13 miles at). I went to the high school and began circling the football team's practice.

6:34, 6:35, 6:31, 6:33, 6:35, 6:32 then kicked it in in 82 sec on the last lap for fun as the darkness crept in and the last of the footballers had left. I ran with my Ipod for one of the first times in 4 months. It felt good. almost impossible not to run fast when listening to Tool's 46 and 2.

Wow almost the same as June 25ths workout But, it is not the 37:45 I ran two weeks before JFK in 2001. doah!

Back in Class

Monday- 8 miles trail 1:11 easy
Tuesday- 12 miles hilly roads 1:36

Well my prosthetics program through Northwestern University has begun and I once again back in class! I have always loved learning and although I have been enrolled in my fair number of colleges (8 at last count) this program is a bit different. It is on-line for 20 weeks with video and teleconference sessions, on-line classes (think U-tube) and many many group projects, discussion boards, tests and quiz's along the way. The program has students from Ecuador, Australia, Alaska, Maine, Florida, TX, Calif, ect ect. Technology is great isn't it.!

Once I finish this portion I will go to Chicago for 8 weeks during May and June and look forward to getting my hands into the "hands-on" portion of the blended learning program.

Additionally I am observing/working at a prosthetics/orthotics shop here in Richmond spending half days learning all I can from the great practitioners at Powell's.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

US Olympic Marathon trials

Friday- 9.5 miles 1:14- hilly roads
Saturday- 8.5miles- 1:05- hilly roads
Sunday 10.25miles 1:35- with Anne

The big news of the weekend comes out of NYC where the Us Olympic marathon trials took place yesterday and the NYC marathon was run today. I watched the trials live on the Internet and was blown away by the incredible performances on the hilly course. I was super excited to see three of my favorite elite guys make the team, and to see the incredible negative splits they were able to lay down. ( Ryan Hall put in a 14:28 -5k on hills after running 20 miles!!!) USA distance running future is shinning brightly and I believe at least one of our guys will medal next summer in the games.

The tragic collapse and death of superstar Ryan Shay is sad and shocking. Mortality sucks. Although an autopsy is being done today it appears that a genetically enlarged heart was the culprit (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). This Hank Gathers type of condition is thankfully rare, but it is still amazing to me that a 28 year old running phenomenon who has been putting in intense training and racing (including 5 USA national titles at distances from 10k-marathon) for the last 12+ years would fall to this condition now. Why didn't it happen sooner?

It is eye opening and scary. Life is precious, fleeting, and short. We must live it fully each and everyday because you never ever know.

Congrats to ultrarunner coached (Howard Nippert) Mike Cox on his PR 2:20 a mere month after qualifying for the trials race in the notoriously hot Chicago marathon. To Brian Sell- a guy who ran at about the same level as I did in high school and only marginally well in college- for running solid consistent splits and working in to the 3rd position by mile 22. I guess 6,000 training miles per year for the last 5 straight year is beneficial!!! And finally congrats to Paula Radcliffe on her stellar 2:23 NYC marathon win after having a baby. Amazing

I am really inspired of late and can't wait to lace em up for the JFK 50 in 2 weeks. I am not in 6:24 shape but feel confident I can break 7 hours and would like to place top 10 in this 1200 runner field once again.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Turn them Over!

Monday & Tuesday- off, did yoga
Wednesday- 6 miles- easy no watch
Thursday 5 miles 1 up and 1 dn, turnover work in middle
10 x 30sec with 90steps per 30sec
4 x 200m- 40, 37, 39, 38, 400m-81

Wow that felt good! The legs are coming around now. Only calf soreness and extreme tightness on Monday and Tuesday. I did some yoga and tried to work it out. The quads were fantastic for post-marathon....very happy.

I was messing around a bit today having re-read and remembered that there really is something to be said for leg turnover. Jack Daniels has done some studies and found that both elite men and women runners strike the ground at an average rate of 180 steps per minute while racing and while even jogging. (90 hits with the right and 90 with left) While slower people tend to have slower cadences. by counting mine over the last week I have 160-165 steps per minute at 9:00, 8:00, and even at 6:40 pace peer mile. I am not sure if I always have had this cadence or if 9 years of running ultras has slowed me down to this. Anyway....everything is trainable...so I am planning on doing some turnover drills on a semi-regular basis.

Tonight I went to the track and ran 10 bouts of 30 seconds where I tried to have "fast feet" and strike the ground quickly.....with this focused effort my stride rate was right on 180 per minute. I rested 30 second and did it again. Then I ran some 200's with this same focus and boy, they seemed easy. Interesting huh?

Monday, October 29, 2007

3:01:30- Not bad!

Fri + Sat - off
Sunday-26.2 Miles- 3:01:30- 197th of 22,000

What a great day 50-60 sunny with a stiff cold gusty wind. I must say I hoped I would be able to break 3 hours and I went out with that intent, but it was not to be. I tried to hold that line where I was pressing but not breathing hard for as long as I could. I ran sub 7 minute miles through 20+ miles then slowed gradually despite fighting hard. A little after 22 miles my ventilatory threshold broke and I began breathing really hard, and the hands started to tingle. Too bad the last bit was into the wind and uphill! Well at least that last mile... ugh sucked.

Splits were pretty steady at 34 minutes for miles 1-5, 5-10 (1:08), 10-15 (1:42), and 15-20 (2:16), then slowed to 36minutes for miles 20-25 (2:52)- then the last 1.2 was a tough 9:13.

My half split of 1:29....or about what I raced for 1/2 marathon in Feb.

Lots of ultrarunners around: Alabama Montrail teammate ran 2:55, and VHTRC Friend Keith Knipling ran a PR 3:10. Hats off to VHTRC stud and 17th place finisher Aaron S with his 2:34!! that spanks me by a minute per mile!

A big thanks to my wife and buddy Bryon Powell for great support all weekend

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reality? How Fast Can I Run

Tuesday- off tired legs!
Wednesday- 10.25miles- 1:19- hilly roads
Thursday- 11miles- 1:30- treadmill easy

Well as my opportunity to run a regulation road marathon draws closer I have begun to really wonder what I can do. It looks like the weather will be good, and the course although with a couple hills is more than fair.

Once again the gap between the athlete I once was (and still think I am) and my present shape is glaring at me. Since coming back from Egypt I really have not done the tempo or track workouts and have lost touch with what kind of shape I am in. The marathon distance itself should not be bad as I have done 4 long runs of 5-14 hours in the last 2 months, but all of these were on trails. I did put in a solid 25 miler on the roads 2 weeks ago but the 3:28 it took to run that did not include multiple stops for aid and to wait for the training group.

On Wednesday's run I ran a 6:49 mile on the only measured and flat stretch of the run with an effort I would judge to be something I could hold for 90+ minutes, but man you never know. Looking back I have rarely run a serious road marathon without a dramatic slowdown in the last 10k. The few I managed to run consistently in were negative split efforts. Lets hope I can pull off one of those on Sunday.

So for inspiration and a little bit of the "why the hell am I not faster" factor....check out Amy. This is the type of person I hope to start working with again in the next two weeks when I begin doing Physical therapy (again) and prosthetic (for the first time) work.

So what will I run??? My PR is the 2:54 I ran in 1997 in my debut at the distance (with 1:18 and 2:02 splits for 1/2 and 20 miles en route). My latest marathons were in April of 2006 when I ran 3:34 at the Charlottesville marathon one week after a 9 hour 50 miler and then ran 3:28 at Frederick. two weeks later. These were followed up by a year long deployment where I ran 3,000 miles around a one mile square base in the Sinai desert. So it should be interesting to see where I am now.

I ran a 1:28 half marathon in the beginning of the year which would indicate the capability of a 3:05 marathon according to Jack Daniel's physiological fitness calculator. Then in May I ran an 11:21 2 mile time trial which would equate to a 2:54. June 25th I ran a 10K tempo run on the track in Arlington in 40:49 and August 23rd I ran a 5k tempo in 19:45 which both give you a 3:08, Finally In September I ran a 4 mile cut down run in 26:08 which would indicate a 3:11. So I would guess I would be anywhere between 2:50 and 3:15 shape!

I probably can't break 3 hours which honestly ticks me off!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Puke Eater

Sunday- 8.5 miles with Anne
Monday- 6.5 miles- 1:24 ( ran 5 miles, then walked 40minutes)
Tuesday- likely day off

Okay after running 9 days in a row and putting in 22 hours of running the last 13 it caught up to me yesterday. DEAD hamstrings, dead legs, super tired. I aborted my intended 12 miler and walked back to the car. This is okay though, just need to rest a bit. I used to train like this a lot. Throw down the miles and workouts until I felt like crap.... then took a day off and got back into it. It seems to work pretty well, though I know if I ever scheduled my runs and workouts to a planned program I probably fair better. Whatever, I can't seem to stick to one.

Anyway- an eventful last two days as my poor kitty has been sick and my stupid puppy thinks that stopping what he is doing and running full bore to the sound of the retching cat in order to attempt to eat up the puke is ABSOLUTELY THE THING to do! I don't think so...gross!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another strong week

My boy is getting bigger...and they are getting along better.
Saturday- 11 miles- last two in 13:02

Strong week of 66 miles after 68 last week. More to follow hopefully!

Looking ahead I was given a seeded number for JFK (12) Something to live up too! :-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

In my eye!

Thursday am- 7 miles trail 1:04
PM- 4.5miles roads- fartlick, 10x 30-60sec surges
Friday- 9miles 1:11- hilly roads

Well I completely figured out the riverbank loop in downtown Richmond. Not sure how far it is but running pretty strongly it took me 59minutes. a great loop with mainly single track that constantly is rolling hills alongside the James river. Some concrete as you cross the river on two bridges, but a fun one. This and double loops will become a staple of my running here. It is a 5 mile drive to the trails from our house.

On the loop yesterday I saw two snakes on the trail. One 3 foot long black rat snake and one 10 inch unknown kind....both looking for some sunshine. The worst part was getting a bug in the eye mid run. UGH! First it hurt as it hit me square on when it was flying and I running...then it hurt as it burned in there getting caught up under my eyelid. I don't think the entire bug came out for the rest of the run...maybe not even now??? It still hurts and has been pus-y, crusted gross since. Yuck.

In the afternoon I decided to start toughening up and went out to do some speedy stuff on the local track...denied...football game in progress. So I went and did a simple fartlick in the neighborhood. This made today's 9 miler a bit stiff and achy, but I need to throw it down now for a while. JFK 50 is 4 weeks away!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Deathmarching in town

Wednesday- 2:29- 14 miles???

Today I went exploring the trail system around the James river again. I was trying to find a northern extension..that doesn't exist, but I ran on some nice roads and did some urban adventure scrambling up/dn super steep hill edges along the railroad tracks. Then I ran the trails I know and asked a local runner I met about the trail system and was tipped off to trails on the northside of the river.

Well, after a decision at the 62minute point of my run to try and find all of the trails, I launched into what should have been an easy loop connecting south and north sides of the river with the Robert E Lee and nickle bridges...... Which I eventually did..but I got detoured a bit onto an island in the middle (of sorts) which I had to back track out of. All this time I ran with no water or food and so I bonked pretty intensely and had to walk the uphills the last 30minutes and completely waxed my hipflexors. ugh.

Super tired post run. But hey after watching some video's on the Hanson-Brooks team and Brian Sell I was looking for just this kind of run. I need to toughen up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Finding the Dirt

Monday- 8 miles rolling hills 61min
Tuesday- trail exploration 1:18 (7 miles??)

I finally found some good dirt here in Richmond. I got onto some single track along the river and managed to tour around Belle Isle (and took time out to read the interpretive historical signs...1000+ Union soldiers died on the island ((an open air prison)) during the civil war). It was a good run and I have already come up with a way to weave this trail system into a long run from my house. Exciting! You see I am lazy... through and through LAZY. I only run loops or set runs that are convenient. When I lived in San Antonio and found a 3 mile loop in my neighborhood. That is all I ran. and 3 miles felt like a long ways. Yet when I lived in Charlottesville I created a 15 mile loop in town connecting two sets of trails, and also worked out a 10 mile loop in a park. So I ran 10 or 15 most days of the week. Is anyone else this silly??

So now maybe I'll start putting in some real miles. a look at the last few weeks shows some consistently good numbers, but not great:
50, 61, 57, 75, 85, 21 (in Chicago), 68

A big congrats goes out to VHTRC stud Keith Knipling on his Virginia slam finish this weekend

Sunday, October 14, 2007

hitting the roads

Friday- 5.5- 45min
Saturday- 25miles on the roads 3:28
Sunday- 5 mile- 44:41 with Anne

I managed to get out for some road miles this weekend getting in with the Richmond Roadrunners Club folks training up for MCM, NYC marathon, MMTR, and JFK. We managed to pound 25miles Saturday at a conservative pace. A fun time with 15 in the group being the most I have run with in a non-race setting in a long time. Today the legs feel great other than a tight calf. Hopefully in 2 weeks we will have just as great of weather! 50-75 and sunny!! :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Finished finally!

Tuesday- 9.5 mile with 3 @6:49 pace
Wednesday- 7 miles easy

Well I got the running log conversion project (from paper into an excel spreadsheet) back out and finished it up completely last night.

The log starts in 1984, with daily entries beginning in 1987 and continuing completely since.

Some stats: 42,002 training miles to date (39, 679 miles running 2,323 miles walking)

545 races competed in....

And counting!

Monday, October 8, 2007


Last week- 21miles on 2 runs, some walks
Sunday- 9 miles w/ Anne
Monday- 3.5 mile walk

Yep, I took Last Sunday off to rest up, drive 14 hours on Monday. Spent Tuesday-Friday in Chicago (yes it was warm then too) then drove for 17 hours (with two stops to sleep for 60min) home on Friday afternoon eve. Not much running going on.

I hate that changes in schedule and routine totally mess up my running. It shows I am not too serious about training that I let other things and "being busy" get in the way of getting out the door. I am very "on" or very "off" with my running. Kinda stupid really.

Anyway, time to get back on it. Legs feel great. I weigh 129-130lbs.(back to my ultra-race weight) And I am really looking forward to some bigger races coming up. Must focus now!

Good news is my grad program in prosthetics through Northwestern is underway.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

G.E.E.R 100K Racing AGAIN!!!

After running the Odyssey 40 miler last weekend with its 9,oooft of climb and recovering pretty well, I decided last minute to go ahead and run the Great Eastern Endurance Run (GEER)100K this weekend as a way of getting a super endurance beat down to build from. I thus am abandoning my original plan to run the Towpath marathon (Oct 7th) in Ohio after spending next week in Chicago. I'm driving home Friday afternoon/eve and not waiting around in Ohio Saturday for a Sunday race...no need to be away from home if I don't need too! After a year away, I am not eager to be away much anymore.

After last Saturday's 40 miler I took two days off to rest up and felt pretty good the rest of the week doing 9,8, and 6 milers on Tues, Wed , Thurs...decided I would go to GEER, took Friday off and managed the TOUGH 62 miles with nearly 16,000ft of climb in 14:03. Good enough for a top 15 finish out of 80 entrants.

The 100K was absolutely beautiful. we ran along the blue ridge mountains with views of Charlottesville, the Priest Mountain. We ran on all kinds of surfaces: 5miles blacktop, miles of crushed stone roads, dirt road, jeep trail, and miles and miles of rocky/rooty/and even some soft pine needle smooth trail. All on one of the best marked courses I have ever been on.

All things considered it was a very good weekend despite getting up at 3am..driving 2 hours...running for 45min in the dark with no lights(whoops bad planning) running all of the daylight hours, then running for another 45minutes in the dark with my trusty Petzl headlamp and driving 2 hours back home....ugh tired. Best part about the race was the hot Lasagna at the finish line!!!!

I LOVE ultras!!!!!!!!!!

I started out conservatively following others with lights, then bombed down the first big downhill, settled in after a pit stop of trail and ran with good VHTRC friend and eventual women's 100k Champion, Michele Harmon, from mile 19 to 39. We then went back and forth with each other as we both took good spells and bad patches at different times. She pulled away from me on the climb from mile 51-55. And finished in a great 13:17. Congrats!

I made one big mistake... I ran miles 40-47 in 61 minutes. It was downhill, shaded and cooler, and beautiful...what can I say I fired up and trying to gain some time back after a long uphill climb. I simply over-ran, fell behind in caloric intake, and then bonked at mile 49 big time. I could not climb back out of it until mile 56. And even then I never returned to the good feeling I had enjoyed the first 8 hours of the day.

Another SOLID stomach run with NUUN and clif shot blocks doing the trick all day with some nibbling off the aid station tables as well. Gorgeous weather with temps 55-80-60 and sunny.

Now I have very clear plans for my JFK prep. Rest! With no long runs the next 4 weeks, but some quality marathon pace tempos set up I hope to run the Marine Corps Marathon On Oct 28th in the 2:50's.

In the running world news, congrats to Scott Jurek on defending his Spartathon 153 mile race title in sub 24 hours! And to Mark Godale on finishing 16th in 30 hours. And to the little Ethiopian hero Haile G on setting the marathon world record!!!!!! Amazingly at age 34.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Racing again.. Odyssey 40 miler

Friday- 3 miles- 26min
Saturday- 40 miles- 7:19- 2nd place
Sunday- 0 off with mildly sore quads

This weekends race at the Odyssey 40 mile...(also a 1/2 and full marathon) went very well for me although some of my friends unfortunately had trouble and stopped after two loops of the 3 loop course.

I ran much of the first 13.3 mile loop with Goat Powell before he pulled away on the 1500ft climb. But, I did stay with Jeff Wilbur through the entire first loop running a 2:16 split ( followed by 2:28 and 2:34) where we cruised the seemingly 6 mile downhill to the start finish strongly. My quads were a bit shaky and I wondered if I hadn't just blown them out and would regret the semi-hard run down on laps two and three, but ended up having no trouble.

Jeff had asthma trouble on the climb of loop two and I moved on ahead running some with a few who were in the marathon race. I continued to eat the clif shot blocks and drink 3-4 bottles of NUUN per loop as it got muggy and temps climbed into the 80's but had no stomach trouble at all. This is honestly the best my stomach has felt in an ultra in 3-4 years. It was GREAT!!!!!!!!!

And though I liked clif blocks and NUUN before, I had not used them exclusively in a race until this. I ate nothing at all other than 1600Cals of shot blocks and drank nothing but NUUN water all day.

My energy stayed constant and I just ate the blocks on desire rather than according to a set time schedule. This worked really well and I surely will continue this again. Laps 2 and 3 went pleasantly with me pushing myself pretty hard and hoping to catch the leader on the last, but heard he had a 56 minute lead on me with 6 miles to go....so obviously I am not in THAT good of shape yet, but it was fun to run strongly in an ultra again after so long.

A big congrats to friend and VHTRC/Montrail-Nathan teammate Sophie who finished an impressive third overall in 7:53.

Quads are a bit sore and stiff but nothing too bad and I am feeling excited for the coming weeks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Going faster now

Wednesday- 12 miles- 8:oo pace
Thursday 1 up 4mile cut down-26:08, 1cd

Book 6 is done. Closing in.

I felt really good yesterday during the cut down run and changed plans mid workout. I did 4 rather than three miles as it felt great. It took 7 laps to feel good but it got better from there. I basically ran faster each of the 16 laps running splits of 6:49, 6:37, 6:25, and 6:17. Amazing how the 6:20's felt better than 6 :40's.

I'm off to the Odyssey 40 tomorrow. Should be fun to go long again with a race number on. This is my first ultra (of the non- 100 mile variety) in 18 months....!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Races looming

Thursday- 8 miles 66min
Friday- 4 miles 1 up, 2miles 13:10, 1 dn
Saturday- 12miles at 8:00 pace
Sunday- 8 miles with Anne
Monday- 6 miles speed day: 16,12,8,4 ladder
Tuesday- off...lazy

Well, I have read the first 5 Harry Potter books now. working my way through. Also have been getting some leg turnover going.

Friday's run was a favorite.....running on a track I jog the corners and stride the straights. Gradually you get faster. a 2 mile is like running 16x100m repeats with equal recovery. It is a great workout for a number of reasons. I need more of this for sure.

Monday I ran a test ladder running pretty strongly on the track. By myself probably 90% effort...surely would feel easier with company, but it went well: After a short warm up and 2 laps of 100m on, 100 off to get the legs going I ran 1600- 6:14, 1200- 4:24, 800-2:49, 400-73 all on 3 min recovery. I certainly am not as fast as I was in Egypt, but I am coming around and feeling better.

I'll go moderately long today and am looking forward to getting in a strong 40 miler on Saturday.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My boys

Well my boys are trying to get along. Look, we got them to pose together!!!!!
Puppy parenting continues to be fun....and challenging.
Running is coming along:
Monday- 10 miles- 82min
Tuesday- off
Wednesday- 19 miles- 3hrs (16 running- 3 walking cool down)
I know I need to do more of these steady longish runs. 90min-2 hours+ really works well for me when done on a regular basis. I need to get my yoga routine going again too. At least I am doing regular pull ups and back kayaking again. I already have shed some weight and am feeling fitter. Some races coming up soon:
Sept 22-Odyssey 40- as kind of an aided training run
Oct 7th- Towpath marathon- as a fitness test
Oct 28th- Marine Corps marathon- for a new PR???
Nov 17th- JFK 50mile- please please let me be fit enough to break 7hrs again!!!
Dec 8th-Hellgate 100K- for an experience
I will be off to Chicago to begin my prosthetics program for a 4 day mini-course at the beginning of October. Really looking forward to getting that rolling.
Great article today in the Washington Post on the new Amputee center being dedicated today at Walter Reed. Money well spent!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Saturday: 1 mile warm up, mile- 7:15 (100m on/off)
4x400m- 86, 83, 81, 79 (on 60sec rest)
3200m- 12:41 (HR ave 162bpm (172 at finish))
4x200m- 36, 36, 36, 36 on 200m jog

Sunday- 4 mile walk

A pretty good workout on Saturday just trying to mess around on the track. I left the house with no plan and ended up at the track, then did some quicker stuff, ran tempo pace with lactate in the legs then tried to turn them over a bit. I was sore today, but not horribly so. Progress.

Congrats to fellow central Virginian- Howard Nippert on his 8th place 6:49- 100k at the world championships, and to Greg Crowther USA 50k/100k nat'l champ finishing 12th in a PR 6:52. And to Chad Ricklefs who was 19th in 7:01 or so. Strong showing for USA finishing 3rd overall Team..

Also Congrats to The new Wasatch 100 mile course record holder Kyle Skaggs. He just got Karl Meltzer's record by 8 minutes...now Karl has his sights on getting Hal's record at The Bear 100. Fun times in the sport.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Tuesday- 0 miles one hour kayak
Wed- 10 miles- 82minutes
Thurs- 8 mils 64min last mile 6:35

Well I am working out very regularly again now and starting to feel like a runner again. Yesterday's 10 and today's 8 on the treadmill (watching blackhawk Down) were very smooth. I kayaked pretty intensely on Tuesday and was sore. Great core and upper body work that is. I have been missing that for 5 years and I know it helps my running.

I am getting excited for the upcoming fall schedule with lots of long outings planned and I hope to be running pretty well by Nov. and December. Gotta be better than Vermont 100 went. :-(

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Wild Oak Trail

Sat- 5miles- easy roads
Sun- 26 miles- 7 hours- TWOT loop
Monday- 7 miles road with Anne

WOOOOHOOOOOOO! I love Virginia Mountains. Okay I love to look at them and run down them, but going up still sucks. My year in the flat desert lands is still showing as I had a hard time on the 9,000ft of climb during the 26 mile The wild Oak Trail loop. 7 hours is not actually that bad a time for this loop though I hear Dave Horton, Dennis Herr and Courtney Campbell (all legends of VA ultrarunning have done loops under 5 hours.

It was a great weekend here in VA and it was great to get out for some mountain running once again. The legs are coming around as I managed to put in 50 miles last week. Thus beginning to get back into it (July = 200 miles, august = 102 miles ...booooo pathetic!)

Probably the coolest thing was seeing the mtn bikers that were out riding the Shenandoah mountain 100 miler. None-other-than THE Floyd Landis passed us on a climb. Pretty cool!! VHTRC and Montrail team mate Sophie Speidel has great pics up here. Floyd finished third here and did well at the Leadville mtn bike 100 last month as well.

A busy but optimistic week as I signed up for races in Sept, October, December, and Feb, as well as began planning on again holding the Boyer's Furnace fat ass 40 miler as RD again, tentatively planned for new year's weekend. (Sunday Dec 30- 7AM start)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

World Championships

Thursday- o miles- 50minute KAYAK!!!!!!
Friday- 10 miles -80min

FINALLY! It has been five years, but I am back on the water in my trusty walden Paddles (100% recycled material) kayak. Very exciting and the James river here in Richmond is awesome for casual paddling like I like to do in my 12.5 foot touring kayak. I like the calmness and repetitive motion of travel under my power on non-crazy rapids water (much like running)

then yesterday I got the treadmill broke in in the new house by running while watching the World Championships of Track and Field. Fun stuff watching the best of the best show you how it is done. USA is doing VERY well winning 100, 200, 400, 4x100 as expected but also with decent showings in the distance races for a change.

10K men 7,9,11, 10K women 3, 6
5k women- 7,8, 1500 men- 1,8
5k men- yet too be run...... but I am hoping for big things. A least one USA medal.... maybe 3 guys in top 6??? Possible... they rock!

I met Adam Goucher in 2000 and he was super cool and has been busting out good runs for over a decade now. I wish him well.

I also want to wish the MMT RING runners well, as today, 19 runners attempt to make it into the fellowship!!!!!!!!

Going long tomorrow...time to get in shape for the fall racing

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Settled now????????

Sunday- 21 miles- 5hrs
Monday- off
Tuesday- 6 mon TM 1 up, mile-6:22, 2min jog, 3miles @6:40

wow, am I ever going to settle in?? Moving from a one bedroom apt to a house is very involved. We have now bought something for every single room.... And this weekend purchased a 2007 Honda accord. Most expensive month ever for sure!! :-)

Nice to have a house though, and having a dinning room table is nice too. The new accord is great and opens up some doors to me again. Not having a vehicle where we live has been a bit limiting. Time to get the kayak out..slap it on the roof of my old Sentra and hit the river!

Also in the big Life news file... I was accepted into Northwestern's blended learning prosthetics program and will be starting that in November. It culminates in June 08 in time for us to move back to DC. Very exciting.

Now, if I could just get a running routine back! I did manage a fun day in Shenandoah running with buds from the VHTRC on Sunday. Nothing speedy, but good to be out and moving again for 5 hrs. The legs were a bit shaky and weak. I also seemed to have a virus last weekend...ugh unpleasant, but gone now.

Yesterday's treadmill workout was something I hope to build on. 6:20 was too fast, but 6:40's felt okay, hard but comfortable with HR at 160. As the weeks approach JFK 50 I hope to extend this to 20 miles.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Thursday 7 miles- 65mins

This is my new little buddy: Oskar

This is his 4 year older brother, Joey..... helping unpack:

And here he is in his new favorite place to sleep....and go where Oskar can't!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trying and trying

Monday- 4miles- 37min exploring new neighborhood
Tues- 3 miles- 26min- unmotivated run on trails by river
Wed- 4 miles- 0.5 w up, 5k on track-19:45, 0.5 c dn

Wow talk about no motivation!!!!!!! With all the changes this schedule oriented guy is hurting lately. My body is just feeling off compared to how I was prior to leaving Egypt. but, mainly it has been no will to get out and run. I have got 4 days in in a row now so maybe I can compel myself to keep it going.

I was pressed for time yesterday so I went to the track to get in something quality. I ran a 5k pretty hard getting into it ad pressing. laps the first mile were 1:39,1:39,1:38,1:38 (6:32) then I ran 1:34's for the 2nd mile (6:16) and continued that for the last mile running a bit quicker on lap 12 (6:12) and finishing it off with a 45sec-200 for a 19:45 or about 6:20per mile pace. Not wretched, but not what I had worked up to. I really really hate that running fitness/ability is so transient. Really isn't fair. If I have kids I should "push" them into a different sp0rt....one that is skill based!!!!!!!!!!

A couple options this weekend.... a 1/2 marathon here in Richmond. Nothing like a road race to wake you up! Or the VHTRC folks are running a 21 miler in shenandoah out of Charlottesville. might go up for that. Main task this weekend is to test drive cars! We need to purchase a nice sized 4 dr sedan..... any suggestions? Looking to get a used one in the $15-20,000 range.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I've been busy

Sunday- 19 Aug- 5 miles -1up, 3xmile, 1 dn

Okay it has been a while!!!!!!!! Life moves fast.... Since the last blog I drove a UHAUL to Richmond, unpacked it for 2 days (thanks for the help Quatro) then headed off to Ithaca, NY for good Friend Ian's wedding on aug 4th. Ran with a bunch of the old ICXC teammates that day and felt the blown hip flexor (psoas) muscle after a short 45min run.

We then went back to Richmond only to catch a 6am flight out the next day to The Dominican Republic! This was a reunited-celebratory vacation. Anne and I had scheduled a trip to the Caribbean last summer that had to be canceled due to me heading out to Egypt for a year... Then I come home with Anne immersed in Bar studying. So, once she took the exam and we had moved to Richmond it was time to go!!

A great time there....lots of time in the sun, on the beach, in restaurants, and being lazy. I began reading the Harry Potter series (I am 33 and male..but it okay) Got thru books one and two and now into the 3rd.

Then we got OSKAR!!!!!!! He is an 8 week old miniature Schnauzer and he is awesome. Life consuming, but awesome. Lots of pictures to follow once my internet gets back up (we had a huge storm that fried our cable modem...I'm scamming the neighbors wireless now, but it is not super great.

So finally after actually BEING in Richmond for a week... we are all unpacked and settling in. I have had some exploratory runs and like it. trails 3 miles away, and a HS track a mere 6 minute run down the road. I am ashamed to admit it took 7 whole days to discover that, but at least I utilized it on the first discovery.

I have only covered 20 miles of running since the VT 100 (that was 28 busy days ago) so I eased in with a 3 x mile run doing 100 on / 100m off stride jog miles at 7:20, a 200m on- (45sec/60sec) mile in 7:06, and a 100 on/off in 6:27. Felt pretty good then I actually ran a400m at a good clip in 78 and did not die. all a good sign. Time to get back on it training wise.

Today is my first official day of unemployment!!!!!!!!!!!!! As I am now officially out of the Army and not working. After 10 years I figure I deserve some time to relax a bit and figure things out. right now training the new 6lbs pup and keeping him from killing himself ( he wants to bite the 16lbs cats tail) is keeping me busy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Last Day in Arlington

All Week- 0 Miles

Well today is the last day and night in our Arlington Apartment. Off to greener pastures.....at least to a house that has a lawn. It has been a very busy time of late. Sunday after the post Vermont 100 feed I got in the car for a 10 hour drive back here. The next morning Anne left (with the car) to go take the VA Bar exam, and I began packing. Despite this being a small place we have a lot of stuff. How does that happen??? Well, 54 boxes later and 7 straight days of steady packing and we are now ready to paint the apartment back to ugly white and head on out.

No running this week. Often post a 100 miler I am unable to run for a week, but this time recovery went pretty well. Two big days of stiffness and soreness, then gradually went away. The torn popliteus in my left knee pit was not as bad as it was after the 2000 Massanutten, and could probably handle a run today. I am going to wait a bit longer though. Rest breaks are good for the body and the mind. I'm gonna start running again when I am hungry for the training. I'm getting closer to that but it is not here yet.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hills man hills

Sat- 100 miles- 23:45:55 -63rd place

Just a quick one to let the curious mind know...... Nope I did not run 15:00 (my dream goal for a 100) Nobody did. I doubt anyone ever will again at Vermont. The course is a lot tougher (2500+ more climb and decent) (and longer-3-4miles!)) than it was. AJW and Jim Kirby ran awesome and were in great shape and had AMAZING weather and still only managed to run right around 16 hours. SUPER!, but not the 14:08 and 14:19 times turned in there previously. Montrail guys finished 1,2, 4, 5 and first female!

As for me. I was not feeling great going in to race day, and discovered quickly that I just was not ready to run fast on hills and trails. A YEAR without either is something you can not regain in a couple runs. I could have run okay had the race been on completely flat pavement, but not hilly trails.

I did not go out crazy and die, rather ran at 140 bpm on the HR monitor in about 20th place innitialy...moving up to a high of 12th by mile 11 then slipped back the rest of the day. I was 4:11 at 25miles, and was not in trouble physiologically. I was eating 2 Cliff shot blocks (66cals total) every 10 minutes and processing well, just had legs that were not capable.

Honestly, at 12 miles I really found out I was not ready for hills and trails and it just got worse from there. My 23:46 was a TOUGH effort. Sure it is not super quick, but I pushed very hard to beat the 24 hour cut off. "Running" 9 hours and 17 minutes for the last 30 miles was honestly all I could manage. I was as beat up by the finish in this one as in any of the 14 other 100 milers I have finished. I tore the popliteus muscle in my left posterior knee somewhere around 45 miles and just destroyed all the stabilizer and accessory muscles that help maintain balance and keep you upright on uneven surfaces. Additionally. I don't think my hamstrings ever recovered from the 40 mile walk followed by 21 mile trail run 3 weeks prior. On paper it looked great, but a year with out using these muscles that way was too much to ask and they couldn't deliver.

Additionally, I had intestine trouble yet again..... having to take 6 number 2's between miles 20 and 45. Stopped by two doses of prescription strength Imodium.....only then to have a stomach that just sloshed and wouldn't drain. BLAH! 100's suck.

I decided at mile 28 that I was not going to Leadville next month and decided at 70 miles that I am having my my wife (a brand new lawyer) draw up an official contract stating that I will not attempt a 100 mile race for at lest 3 more years. She of course thinks I'm kidding, but really I am not. I am 15 for 25 now (I had miscounted thinking this was 26) and that is enough for a good while. I won't say never again, just not for a while. It is not fun and has not been fun for 5 years now. My attention is going to shift to 50k's, 50 milers, and a quality road marathon once a year.

In 3 tries now (23:08=2001, 23:30- 2002) I still have not been able to run the VT 100 quicker than my 22:14 at Massanutten! Funny.

Now a good couple of weeks off. Pack up the apt in Arlington and move to Richmond this week. Then off to a wedding in Ithaca, then off to the Caribbean on vacation!

Cheers, and thanks for all the well wishing along the way while I was in Egypt and the last 4 weeks upon my return. What a long strange trip it has been the last 6 months building for this event.